WHEN he was the kingpin of Absa Premiership side Lamontville Golden Arrows a couple of seasons ago, Kagisho Dikgacoi built a ring of steel in the side's midfield.
It was partly through his efforts that Abafana Be'sthende disposed of the "small team" tag they had carried.
Now, with the big stage of the Fifa World Cup beckoning, Dikgacoi is eager to showcase what his move to English Premiership outfit Fulham has done for his game.
"The exposure and the experience at the highest level has been good for me. It is very good to be back. I have played with these guys for some time now and although I could not join them in their recent camps in Brazil and Germany, I feel I can comfortably slip back into the team," Dikgacoi said.
That he now has stiff competition in the starting line-up, with the likes of Thanduyise Khuboni and Lance Davids all vying for the same position, is not a source of anxiety for the 25-year-old.
Carlos Alberto Parreira has kept faith in Dikgacoi, even when his detractors were at their most ruthless during the Confederations Cup last year.
It does hurt that he is also the type of player who is as comfortable when attacking and scoring goals as when crunching tackles and solid defending are called for.
"What people do not understand is that players have different roles. You always play according to the coach's instructions. You never go against those instructions and do your own thing," Dikgacoi said.
"I think that the qualities that got me selected in the first place are still of use to the coach."
As for Khuboni, Dikgacoi said he was looking forward to rekindling their erstwhile partnership from their days at Arrows.